Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Across the Board with Mike B

Kentucky Oaks Pick 4

Untapable Rachel Alexandra 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire - Steve Queen


After a long winter, it finally feels like spring is upon us as Derby Weekend kicks off with the 140th running of the grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on Friday. A field of thirteen will enter the gate, headlined by the super talented Untapable who must overcome breaking widest of all. I will be taking a crack at the all stakes Pick 4 anchored by the Oaks, which kicks off with the Eight Belles, so let’s not waste any time and delve right into this thing…

The Eight Belles

While I almost took a shot with singling my top selection in here, Fiftyshadesofgold, I decided there are too many unknowns with the other entrants in the field so I decided to spread this leg. Along with Fiftyshadesofgold I will use the comebackers Our Amazing RoseMilam, and She’s a Tiger. All three have been on the shelf and have shown talent in the past. I will also throw in the pair of Jojo Warrior and Mufajaah. I wasn’t that impressed with Jojo Warrior’s last race, but she does have a right to improve off of it. As for Mufajaah I am taking a shot with her. She had trouble in her last as she lost all chance after being pinched back at the start. Prior to that all three of her races have been nice and I believe she may like the cutback. I will kick things off by going six deep.

The Edgewood

Nobody in here is too scary in my opinion so I am going to take a shot with a filly that is 10/1 on the morning line, Little Journey. She is making her first start in the States, and is under Chad Brown’s expert care, and I am expecting a really nice run from her. There is a lot of speed signed on and I believe Jose Lezcano will work out a nice stalking trip. In Chad I trust.

The Alysheba

On paper this seems like a two horse race between Will Take Charge and Normandy Invasion, but I am going to try and get cute in here. Along with the pair previously mentioned I am going to throw in Golden Ticket and Appealing Tale as well. While Will Take Charge is the obvious class of the field, but I feel he may need a break after three tough races to start his year. I also feel the longer the race, the better his chances are. He may be a little more vulnerable at shorter distances. I am not tossing him, but I do not trust him completely either. As for Normandy Invasion, he ran a real nice race against the very classy Palace Malice last out. Although he was no match for the winner, I think he will be tough at today’s distance. Golden Ticket I am taking a stab with. I can’t really figure this horse out, but if he runs back to his start in the Gulfstream Handicap he may prove to be tough. And lastly, I am throwing in Appealing Tale because he is the speed of the speed. He is also a horse on the improve since being switched back to dirt and I believe he will have to be caught in order to win this.

The Kentucky Oaks   

Although your 4/5 morning line favorite Untapable will break widest of all from the thirteen hole, I still think she has the best chance of winning. She absolutely towers over this field and I expect her to run very well on Friday. With that said, I will also use two more, Ria Antonia and Aurelia’s Belle, just in case that post does hinder her performance. Ria Antonia is going out third off the layoff, second time under Bob Baffert’s care, and adds the blinkers back on after chasing a filly that got loose on the lead in the Santa Anita Oaks. As for Aurelia’s Belle, I think she is a filly that may have finally put it all together in her last start in the Pure Romance Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway. She does have some questions to answer as she has never won on dirt and hasn’t won a race over a mile. At 50/1 on the morning line though, I am willing to say she most certainly can do both.

The Play:  I will play a fifty cent Pick4 for $48…4-5-7-8-9-10 with 5 with 2-5-7-8 with 2-8-13

As always, I wish you all the best of luck and a very profitable Kentucky Oaks day. I hope I helped solidify your own opinions or turned you onto something you may have missed. Have a winning day, folks!!   



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Older Comments about Kentucky Oaks Pick 4...

Tiger in the 8 Belles!
I also like that Chad Brown horse and I don't really think the post position hurts Untapable that much.

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 Meet Michael Barry   


 It all started 5 years ago for me after a spur of the moment trip to Saratoga Springs with my future wife.  I had always bet on the Triple Crown races, and made a few trips to Suffolk Downs annually, but not until that journey to The Spa did things get serious for me.  I fell in love with horse racing right then and there and I haven’t looked back since.  The following year I read every handicapping book I could get my hands on.  I became, and still am, a very passionate student of the game. 


Through this blog I hope to take you guys through my favorite aspect of the game, which is breaking down races and doping out winners.  I focus my attention between the NYRA circuit (mostly), Gulfstream Park, and Keeneland.  I also plan to provide very thorough coverage leading up to the Kentucky Derby and Breeders Cup.  I love analyzing the prep races leading up to both of those grand events. 


Wagering wise, I love playing pick 4’s and 5’s, and I have enjoyed some success in the past playing those types of exotics.  In any given race, I try to attack based on strength of opinion and value.  That may be in the form of an exacta, trifecta, superfecta, daily double, pick 3, or by laddering my choice across the board.  Every race is its own animal and must be played accordingly.


Personally, I am a graduate of Boston University and reside on the South Shore of Massachusetts with my beautiful wife Tara and wonderful son Finn.  I work as a technician for a communications company by day. 


I can be found on Twitter @mbarry24 and I’m always up to discuss anything horse racing related.

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